Jordan Spieth, a 20-year-old prodigy who could become the youngest Masters champion, is confident he can handle the last-pairing pressure during Sunday’s intense back-nine drama at Augusta National.
Spieth, making his Masters debut, fired a third-round 70 on Saturday to finish 54 holes deadlocked atop the leaderboard with fellow American Bubba Watson at five-under par 211, putting him in the final duo on one of golf’s grandest stages with a major title at stake.
“Deep down, not very (nervous),” Spieth said. “I’m very pleased with the way I putted. That’s where I thought I might need time to get used to the greens, but I feel comfortable with the putter in my hands. Being in this position is very pleasing. I feel comfortable.”
Spieth is the first Masters rookie in Sunday’s final duo since 1995 and only the third since 1937.
“I’ve never had a round where I’ve been nervous on every single swing, shot, and putt. I’m sure that will happen tomorrow, but hopefully I can channel it positively and stay grounded, stay cool, and see what happens.”
“It’s a dream come true just to see what it’s like. I’m in a great position, a position I haven’t been in before but I’m excited about it. This is a place I’ve always dreamed about. It’s kind of Heaven on Earth for me.”
In what could be one of the epic triumphs in golf history, Spieth can become the youngest major winner since Tom Creavy took the 1931 PGA Championship at 20 years, seven months and 16 days – one month younger than Spieth.
Spieth also could become the first Masters rookie to take the green jacket since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979.
And he could replace Tiger Woods, the world No.1 absent after surgery to ease a pinched nerve, as the youngest Masters champion, Woods having been seven months older than Spieth when he captured the 1997 Masters for his first major crown.
“I try not to think about that. That would be a dream come true,” he said. “I think golf’s greatest (honour) is wearing a green jacket.
“That would be a very phenomenal thing. If tomorrow can go my way I will never forget any of the shots.”